earwig crawling on wood in albuquerque


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What do earwigs look like?

Earwigs are dark brown insects with long, narrow bodies measuring approximately ¼ to 1-inch in length. Their antennae span about half their bodies and they have two pairs of wings (most don’t fly though), and six legs. Their most notable feature is the forceps-like appendages, called cerci, that extend from their abdomens. 

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Pest Facts

Did you know?

  • There are over 1,000 different species of earwigs around the world.
  • Earwigs DO NOT crawl into people's ears while they are sleeping.
  • Earwigs are capable of flight but don't typically use their wings.

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Biology and behaviors of earwigs

Female earwigs dig small chambers in soil where they deposit their eggs. They keep their eggs moist by licking them often. Once the eggs hatch, females will seal the chambers off in order to protect the nymphs. Nymphs will remain in the chamber until their first molt.

These nocturnal insects tend to live together outdoors in large numbers in mulch, firewood piles, stumps, in soil next to foundations, and other areas that contain sufficient moisture. 

Where are you likely to find earwigs indoors?

While earwigs are usually found outside, changes in weather or lack of food may cause them to move indoors. Utilizing cracks, gaps, and openings on the exterior of houses, these pests are often found in kitchens, bathrooms, and laundry rooms as well as other areas where there is moisture or water sources. You might also find them in potted plants, under rugs, and inside newspapers.

What do earwigs eat?

Earwigs are omnivorous insects that feed on decaying and live vegetation as well as live and dead insects. Inside homes, they eat stored goods including cookies, flour, and breads. 

Signs of an earwig infestation

Unlike other pest problems, earwigs do not bite, cause damage, or make audible noises that alert property owners. Really the only way to tell if you have them in your home is if you see them crawling about. And one or two earwigs doesn’t necessarily mean you have a large problem in your home. It could indicate that you have a larger earwig population outside though. 

Are earwigs dangerous?

While there was a time when people actually believed earwigs would enter people’s ears and bore into their brains, nowadays we know this to be folklore. In reality, earwigs are not dangerous to people. They may cause damage to gardens and plants though.

How do you get rid of earwigs?

If you’ve found earwigs inside your home or on your property, contact Greenway Pest Solutions. Our local pest control company offers home pest control services that target earwigs as well as other insects and rodents. 

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